Poll boost for Howard on immigrant health checks

Poll boost for Howard on immigrant health checks

    But is the policy more popular than the party?

A Populus poll for the News of the World today has more than 8 in out of 10 people backing Tory plans to screen immigrants for infectious diseases. Some 82% said people coming to Britain should undergo testing for diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis while 68% of those surveyed rejected claims it was a racist policy.

    There are no party break-down figures in the online version of the story and we might have to wait until the the full details are published before we know whether this was asked and whether Labour is maintaining the 9% lead that the Populus Poll had in the two weeks ago.

Others points from the poll:-

  • 54% agreeing – 36% disagreeing said the number of immigrants coming to Britain has overstretched the NHS
  • 52% said the number of immigrants being treated on the NHS has made it harder for British people to get access to health services
  • 16% of people said the number of people entering Britain would be higher under the Tories than under Labour – compared to 33% who said lower and 44% about the same.
    • But it might not be all good news for the Tory leader – because the policy may be more popular with voters than the party is itself, as an ICM poll suggested earlier in the week.

    When people were asked if they supported tough immigration controls, without specifying they were Tory policies, it got 82% support. But only 65% agreed when told that it was the Tory policy on the issue.

    Under the new rules of the British Polling Council pollsters have to make available all the details of a survey, including information not used by the body that commissioned the poll, within a set time period. Assuming that a “who will you vote for” question was asked then that should be known within a couple of days.

    Populus is probably the most transparent of the pollsters and it might be that its head, Andrew Cooper, will join our discussion to give his observations on his poll and to let us know whether there is more information available.

    © Mike Smithson 2005

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